Saturday, January 19, 2008

Here's something I'm not supposed to tell you

We don't talk out loud about how much Gannett pays us. But if I'm going to razz executives about their seven-figure pay packages, I ought to come clean, too. When I left USA Today, I was earning a generous $105,000 a year as a business news reporter and editor. Gannett kicked in another I think $10,000 each year for my retirement plan and my 401(k) account. That's a lot of money.

Of course, there's this mitigating factor: The cost of living where I live is nuts. Median prices for single-family homes in the San Francisco Bay area are among the nation's very highest: nearly $800,000. Once you pay that outrageous sum, get ready to pony up another $200,000 for a new kitchen and maybe a bath. (We love our sustainable Brazilian hardwoods and our $5,000 Bertazzoni ranges!) Plus, adding a two-car garage will cost another $200,000 to bore into our steep hillsides, so you may need to rent garage space.

My annual pay puts me near the top end of the salary range I found when I did this casual survey of Gannett Blog readers two months ago. I don't know how much my USA Today co-workers earn because the paper's approximately 450 newsroom employees aren't unionized, so wage scales aren't published. But I suspect plenty of them earned as much or more than me. That's why so many are worried about losing jobs if there's another round of cuts at Gannett's flagship paper. After all, where would they find newspaper jobs, beyond public relations, that pay anywhere near as much as they earn now?

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  1. Too bad for you Jimmy, bloggers typically earn less than $8 an hour. So, that places you into a new tier (just in the wrong direction!)

  2. LOL. I knew I was giving up a big paycheck when I took that buyout!

  3. Ohio. Technical manager, $80,000 a year.

  4. Can you share what the incentives were for the buyouts - how many weeks of salary for years of service, health care etc? Thanks.

  5. Compare that to copy editors at the smallest papers Gannett owns, who can make more money working 40 hours a week flipping burgers - literally.

  6. I'm about to be downsized. Small paper editor with GCI. Pay was decent; stress was high. I'm embarking on a new career and very happy to be doing so. Getting downsized is the best thing that could have happened. The business has gotten unbearable at the small paper level.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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